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Tony's Cedar Key Clam Chowder will compete nationally

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By Kellie Parkin

 Tony’s Seafood Restaurant will be among 30 of the nations best restaurants and chefs to cook more than 3,000 gallons of chowder for visitors at the Schweppes Great Chowder Cook-off held June 6 in Newport, Rhode Island.

The competition will feature a little Southern cooking in the heart of New England thanks to a locally owned restaurant.

“It’s exciting for a Florida restaurant to go to New England where they’re known for their chowder,” General Manager Dane Plummer said. “But Cedar Key is known for it’s clams,” he added.

Born on historic 2nd Street, Tony’s Cedar Key Clam Chowder will spice up the event, competing in the Chowdah competition. The three areas of contest will be for seafood, clam, and creative chowder.

Plummer is confident in Tony’s unique recipe. “It’s got a little kick to it. That’s what sets it apart from other chowders,” he said.

Tony’s will travel to the event with a mobile cooking rig, at least seven employees and 200 gallons of chowder.

Owner Eric Jungklaus, originator of the delicious recipe, named his restaurant after his brother Tony of New York who helped him get established on the islands.

This will be Tony’s first competition, but the restaurant is a veteran participant in events, such as the Lakeland Fun in the Sun festival.